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Rodrigo Paulicchi: 3D artist interview

By 3dtotal staff

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Date Added: 3rd November 2015

Studio and freelance 3D artist Rodrigo Paulicchi discusses creating a likeness of his girlfriend in ZBrush, and shares some of his awesome portfolio...



3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Rodrigo Paulicchi: My name is Rodrigo and I'm a 3D artist based in São Paulo, Brazil. I currently work in a studio and do freelance from time to time. I like creating characters and trying to tell stories with them. I'm also always trying to get better at what I do.

3dt: Where did you find the inspiration for your latest gallery entry? What's the story behind its creation?

RP: In fact it was my girlfriend's idea. We were seeing the incredible character design work of Justin Rodrigues when she saw his profile pic (which is a cartoon version of himself) and said she wanted something similar for her portfolio (she's an art director). At first she wanted a 2D drawing, but it seemed to me like a good challenge to try and make a 3D version of her. I did a lot of research but Anna Catish's works contributed a lot for the final result... I really think she captures this 'innocent/cute/vivid' look with her characters, and I wanted to try that in 3D.


3dt: What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image? Did you face any difficulties, and how did you overcome them?

RP: I've used mainly ZBrush for this project because it allows me to quickly establish everything I need when it comes to character creation. I then went into 3ds Max and used V-Ray for the final render. There were many challenges I faced, but the most difficult part was to make that model to really resemble Nadia and capture the look in her eyes. At first she wanted me to make a 2D drawing of her but, in order to convince her of going full 3D, I've modeled a character based on a drawing from Anna Catish. Only then I felt confident enough to start this project.

3dt: Do you normally use this software in your workflow? What other software and plug-ins do you favor?

RP: I think I use ZBrush in pretty much all of my projects. I used to be a Softimage guy but I have to use 3ds Max in my work so, with Softimage's shutdown I'm kind of migrating here.


3dt: Are there any particular techniques that you use often?

RP: At this moment I feel particularly inspired by the Danny Williams (A.K.A. Point Pusher) ZBrush summit presentation. His demo was very interesting and it changed the way I create characters. But I'm always looking for new, more organic ways to achieve my goals.

3dt: What are your artistic ambitions?

RP: I guess I'm just trying to be a better artist. This is my main goal right now. When I feel comfortable with my artistic level I'll think of what's next.

3dt: What software would you like to learn in the future to expand your portfolio and skillset, and why?

RP: Well, there are a lot of things to learn nowadays... I'm trying to decide between Substance Painter and Quixel's Ddo. I guess these software can add greatly to my work pipeline.


3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

RP: I try to keep an eye on the amazing artists out there. There are so many talented people who inspire me to try and get better at what I do and, as a consequence, to produce new portfolio pieces. I think I'm always curious to know what I can do next. Will I be able to surpass my latest work? Will people like it? Do I have enough knowledge? These are questions I try to answer with new works.


3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

RP: I'll try to divide this into 2D artists and 3D artists, is that okay? For 2D I like very much the works of Enrique Fernandez, Justin Rodrigues, Jake Parker, Carter Goodrich, Anna Catish and a lot of other people who design awesome characters. For 3D there's my local hero Pedro Conti, there's Andrew Hickinbottom, Carlos Ortega Elizalde and a lot of others I'm surely missing right now cause they set the bar so high when it comes to cartoon 3D.


3dt: Do you like to experiment with your personal works, or do you prefer to stick to tried-and-tested methods?

RP: I definitely like to experiment, but I try to learn what is tried-and-tested first so I can go and try to break some rules.


3dt: What can we expect to see from you next?

RP: More characters I think haha!

Related links

Head over to Rodrigo Paulicchi's website
Take a look at Point Pusher's ZBrush summit presentation
Get a copy of ZBrush Characters & Creatures

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